The need for user-centered design in this era of rapid technological change is reviewed, and key ingredients of a user-centered design process are described: (1) involvement of users, structured by rigorous user input and feedback methodologies, (2) multidisciplinary teamwork, from developing the initial concepts and approach to evaluating and refining the product after its introduction in the marketplace, and (3) focus on competitiveness, on state-of-theart user interfaces and technology. Data supporting the economic value of user-centered design processes is also reviewed.
People have a limited amount of cognitive resources. Coping with the increasing amount of information presented via a software interface strains a user’s cognitive resources. If a person has to use documentation, whether on-line or paper, additional cognitive resources are consumed, often overloading the user. Using several windows or multi-media elements can compound the problem. Unfortunately, as Wickens (1992) states, humans are unable to manage excessive cognitive strain and they respond by getting frustrated, committing errors, shedding tasks, or reverting to known methods.
The ability to build interactions that support, enable, and improve communication is a valuable skill for help developers, Web-site designers, multimedia content developers, information-rich user interface designers-anyone who designs and develops information to be used online. This paper presents the basics of interaction design for information products and describes some basic underlying human factors and user-interface design principles.
The success of an organization that publishes product information depends on customer satisfaction. IBM Product Announcement Support representatives share their experiences in achieving very high levels of customer satisfaction. * How we conducted our surveys and feedback sessions: – Actual approaches – Sample surveys and feedback * How we used this feedback to: – Change the content and format of our deliverable dramatically – Offer our customers additional ways to access product information As writers in IBM Product Announcement Support, our mission is to produce high-quality, effective offering information worldwide. Simply put, we publish IBM product announcements on the full range of IBM hardware, software, and services.
You will not draw any slides—in fact do not even launch PowerPoint—until step eight, 80% of the way through the process. Typically, when you want to create a presentation, you open PowerPoint and start creating slides. Slide one, slide two, … slide seventeen… what I am trying to say again? Am I making my point?
Prototyping has long been a part of the sofiware development process, but is still an underutilized aspect of documentation design, particularly for online design. Developing a detailed approach to prototyping lets writers design and confirm document usability early in the development cycle. Implementing detailed prototyping in an iterative design cycle ultimately leads to the best possible document for the audience.
With products and services quickly becoming commoditized, price differentiation is no longer a sustainable model. Customers are demanding more from businesses. Businesses that have increased their investment in the customer experience over the past three years report higher customer referral rates and greater customer satisfaction. Customers turn into advocates. Customer experience is the sum of all experiences a customer has with a supplier of goods or services, over the duration of their relationship with that supplier.
Discusses how Anthem attained the training, standards, and resources they needed to create a sustained usability effort.
The conventional techniques for task analysis derive the basic tasks that make up user actions. However, in the complex-problem solving environment, attempts to describe step-by-step actions break down because no single route to a solution exists. Although individual tasks can be defined, task-analysis normally results in the tasks being divorced from context. However, to support complex problem-solving, the design must place the information within the situation context and allow users to develop and maintain situation awareness.
Testing documents for usability is critical, but we don’t always get to do it. Even when we do, too often, it’s too little, too late. What we really want are documents that we are fine-tuning in usability testing because they already meet users’ needs, match our users’ mental models, and fit with the way that our users work.
Design of information used for technical communication of complex products should consider how learnable that information is, and strive to deliver materials that are inherently learnable.The speed of information interchange and the demands of the workplace and school curricula require increasingly minimalist approaches to the material that is made available. People are frustrated by long learning times, and new users of software tools demand rapid absorption of tool capabilities. In addition, many readers of technical information are people for whom English is not their native language.Methods and practices that worked in the period when people were willing to commit to hours of study to understand a topic, or days of practice to master a tool, no longer work in a world based on ?internet time.? To assist our understanding of these trends in learning, this paper addresses three key areas related to learnability: proposing a definition of learnability, showing where learnability and usability intersect, and providing a basis for learnability based on some attributes of human beings.
Jerome and Giovanni explain why efficient access to knowledge is essential for global business operations. Giovanni discusses how his company realized its systems needed improvement – and why user-centered design proved to be the appropriate solution. This empirical approach to interface design/architecture enables effective business decisions.
This panel will review the existing literature on how we mentally process online documentation and describe some implications for effective online document design. We invite the audience to define with us some critical areas for further research.
In this podcast, Karen Bachmann, manager of the Usability and User Experience SIG, provides an overview of the user-centered design process. This is part one of a two part series.
Includes three parts--the current state of practitioner user-centred design, an overview of some of the things practitioners are interested in, and an examination of what we need to do to move forward.
This workshop presents an introduction to use cases - a planning tool which can be used for capturing a future documentation system's functional requirements as well as the overall information requirements of end users. You learn what a use case is and what recommended guidelines there are for creating use cases. You also learn how use cases are applied in the documentation development process as a whole.
Quantitative data from user testing of three successive releases of a visual programming language demonstrated the limited value of several existing performance support systems. Qualitative data collected concurrently pointed to specific usability problems. Organization of help information was not clear to users, thereby hindering search. In addition, users could not act on help pages contained developer rather than user vocabulary and concepts.
Conversation is a theme that flows through all the work we do as technical communicators. Every use of your web site is a conversation started by a busy site visitor.